There has been a lot of speculation lately about the 4th iteration of the Apple TV. Seams like everybody is content about ii being based on a iOS interface instead of the Front Row like one before. Make sense, not just in terms of expanding its capability but also at finally cracking that "Go To Market Strategy" Steve talked about at the D8.
What people do not seem to have a coherent opinion about is how is Apple planning regular folks to control it. With a rumored price of $99, you can't just put in a $199 iPod Touch as a free remote. Even the regular Apple TV remote sold at $50 seams complicated and expensive.
Apple needs to come up with a really revolutionary device to satisfy what the bloggers have have put forth as a requirement for this remote
The problem in front of Apple is that iOS is touch based operating system. The controls are everywhere and change place in each app. You cannot use a traditional D-pad to navigate among them. Apple needs to find a way to for the users to directly touch stuff on the screen.
To me, something like the Nintendo Wii seams to be the answer. A remote with accelerometer and gyroscope that beams the raw movement data to the iTV via bluetooth or IR. The iTV with it full blow OS then interprets the movement of the hand. There will be some visual element on the screen showing you where you are about the touch.
I also see 3 controls on the device. Sleep/Wake button, Home button and a small trackpad area for 3 basic one finger controls:
1. Click to push item on the screen
2. Double click to zoom
3. Flick to scroll or pan when in zoomed mode.
If you don't have your finger on the mini trackpad the movement on the hand will not be tracked on the screen.
Or maybe all this is just not practical and Apple has a much better idea. What if there are no UI controls on the screen? What if there is only content and the controls are still on the remote?
A little more food for though...
The 1.8x1.8 screen everybody is sure to be the new nano. What if that is part of the new Apple remote?
yeah, maybe I should have explored that idea more. I think I will leave that to Apple.